Demetrius Andrade was one of the big winners on a packed Friday night of Stateside action. Defending the WBO portion of the middleweight belts, Andrade’s method of victory over Artur Akavov was slightly spurious as referee Arthur Mercante Jr (known for stopping fights early) jumped in and ended the Russian’s evening ahead of time.
Not lacking in confidence Andrade called out Gennady Golovkin after the bout. Golovkin has yet to confirm his future, but it is becoming increasingly likely that he will sign with DAZN and pursue a third bout with that platform’s big cash cow – Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. As for Andrade, he will defend next against Billy Joe Saunders. The Londoner was due to box Andrade last October in Boston, before testing positive for a banned substance and having his WBO title forcibly removed. Once vacated, Andrade picked up the belt with a points win over tough but limited African Walter Kautondokwa. Andrade made this first defence against Akavov.
Andrade was pleased with his performance, despite the Rhode Island southpaw doing little to entice the fans back to watch him. He has an excellent jab, sound skills, and can whack, but his safety-first approach creates dull spectacles. Andrade lets shots go and instinctively throws himself out of range. It will be interesting when we see a hard-hitting foe force him to engage. Saunders’ ability should be enough to defeat Andrade. The English ex-champion has been inactive but is not in much danger of being outworked by the skilled but lacklustre American.
One major upset on the New York undercard saw Jorge Linares’ old faults come back to bite him as Pablo Cesar Cano knocked the Venezuelan out in round one. Supremely talented, but fundamentally flawed, Linares often looks a million dollars when on top. Cano was in no mood to allow Linares to find his rhythm and hit him hard from the start. Linares looked fragile, meek, unable to cope with the heavy swings of a buoyant foe. Stopped after hitting the canvas multiple times, Linares, 33, had the look of a man who has possibly thrown his last professional punch.
Aussie-based Irishman TJ Doheny celebrated his well-deserved contract with Matchroom by outpointing challenger Ryohei Takahashi over 12 rounds. Doheny had broken the Japanese stranglehold on the IBF super-bantamweight title by snatching that crown off Ryosuke Iwasa last August. Iwasa’s countryman was stereotypically tough in this clash, but heavy-handed Doheny was always one step ahead.
Four months after winning the vacant WBO super-lightweight title, Amanda Serrano remarkably dropped down to win the vacant WBO super-flyweight title! Austrian co-challenger Eva Voraberger had shown vulnerabilities in the past, but nothing pointed to such a ferocious display from Serrano. Originally from Puerto Rico, now residing in Brooklyn, Amanda smashed Voraberger in the first round of a proposed 10-rounder.
Serrano has also held WBO straps at bantamweight, super-bantamweight, featherweight, and lightweight. She is targeting a crack at Katie Taylor, but why stop there? Check who holds the WBO heavyweight title because Serrano could be packing on the beef as we speak.
Former world champion Chris Algieri returned at super-lightweight with a 10-round points win over Daniel Gonzalez.